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Boston on the cheap...

I am headed to a meeting in Boston the first week in June, and thanks to some free tickets from US Air and a crazy schedule of June east coast trips, I get to spend two days there with hubby and no obligations other than showing him the city (He's never been there; this is my fourth or fifth trip...). We have already agreed that we will save our "nice" dinners out for later in the week when there are several obligatory group dinners with my colleagues....but that doesn't mean we can't eat well those days I'm not on an expense account, does it? DH is feeling the pinch of several upcoming (big) expenses, and has agreed to go on the condition that we keep it low cost. I know the hounds will come through for me....I'm looking for any food type, any ethnic, anywhere accessible by public transportation. We'll be staying in Back Bay, but I'm sure we'll be trying to see as much of the city as possible (Also DH will be exploring for a couple of days on his own while I'm in meetings....). Suggestions for Cambridge also welcome....looking for breakfast, lunch AND dinner suggestions...

Also, DH is coming in on the red eye, and since I will be traveling from Charlotte to meet him (that crazy meeting schedule again...) I will arrive a couple of hours after him in the morning. Any suggestions for good places for him to have breakfast at or near the airport? It will be too early for him to check in to the hotel.....

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  1. I'm thinking Shabu Zen on Tyler St in Chinatown for hot pot cooking; Regina's in the North End for a pizza followed by a stroll and a pastry from Maria's, Modern or Mike's. Then I would probably opt for either the meatloaf or mac & cheese from Silvertone's in Downtown Crossing area.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Pegmeister

      For a multi-course progressive low cost lunch you could work Galleria Umberto in after Regina, for an arancini.

      1. re: nsenada

        For yet another course, you could also hit James Hook for a lobster sandwich (haven't been since the fire, assume they still have them) and sit out on Rowes Wharf.

      2. re: Pegmeister

        Funny the way things work: the only chowhound suggestion we made it to was Regina's, followed by the pastry from Maria's. Funny because I'm not a pizza fan. But DH is, and it was that or one of the numerous Pizzeria Uno's around town (DH spent a lot of time in Chicago....)...and I really dislike deep dish. But enjoyed Regina's, as much for the break after a long walk on the Freedom trail, the cold beer, and the waitresses as for the pizza...it is pretty good, however (for pizza....). The pastry was great, of course.

        Most of our time was spent wandering, with stops wherever things "looked good.". We had some great mango ice cream in Back Bay (wish I could remember the name of the place; a local chain with two names...), and some ok Thai Food there as well. We walked for two miles looking for the Kebab Factory in Cambridge (for dosa as suggested below...)...never did find it. Turned out we had the wrong address. We ended up at another Indian place that shall go unmentioned and unremembered....not good at all....sigh.....I'm sure by that point we were way out of Cambridge (which was a little crazy anyway; it turned out to be Graduation Day at Harvard.......)

        DH flew home Sat. and I had one more day of meetings Sunday which got cancelled...so I had a day to play. I had my friend convinced to go with me for dim sum, but then she woke up with the flu. I ended up going back to Cambridge, where I had some sticky rice (a traditional dish) at the Dragon Boat Festival on the Charles, and found a nice little Farmer's Market....I thought of the thread about TSA as I bought up all the garlic scapes in sight (something only dreamed of in Vegas) to take home to DH for his famous green garlic chutney......I was afraid they might be confiscated as illegal vegetable material, but they made it home safely.....

        Not low price, but we had a fun group dinner at Sonsie's. Its admittedly terminally hip, but it was a fun place to eat and watch basketball. And the food was quite good, although the servings were ridiculously large. Best beet salad I've had in ages.....

        1. re: janetofreno

          I'm assuming the ice cream was at Emack & Bolio's and not JP Licks.
          Yay, a positive review for Sonsie.

          1. re: Joanie

            Yep, that was it: Emack and Bolio's.....The mango was very good. The counter person told us that the owner imports the mangos from Calcutta. This of course prompted DH to start a discussion on the virtues of Calcuttan mangoes vs. those from Gujarat.....fortunately business was slow and she was willing to "chat".....

        2. re: Pegmeister

          What makes Boston/North End pizza unique?

          Here in Los Angeles there's a chain called "North End" and Boston style pizza always sounded like an odd curiosity to me. Bear in mind that I'm from New Jersey, so I'm very familiar with the style of pizza found there and in NYC.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster

            I always hesitate to answer about pizza because it's such a personal preference. In the North End the original Regina's brick oven makes the difference. Tender, medium crusts with slightly charred bubbles when you ask for it well done. I also like that they have some nice olive oil to pour on when it's served. On the other hand, also in the North End, Artu's serves some of my very favorite thin, crisp crust pizzas with toppings such as shrimp scampi; sausage & broccoli rabe or eggplant with roasted peppers and riccota. If you like the New York Style, you can find a good version at the Waterfront Cafe, also in the North End. For me, dare I say it, I'm not sure there really is a North End or Boston style pizza.

        3. Hi JofR. I've enjoyed your posts. Several low price CH favorites

          Allston: Jo Jo Taipei (Taiwanese), Gitlo's dim sum, Carlos Cucina (Italian)
          Brookline Dok Bua (Thai), Michale Deli (Corned beef/pastrami), Shiki (interesting Japanese , a little pricier)
          Cambridge: Zoe's (Northern Chinese) Petsi's pies, O'Sullivans (Burgers) out of teh way but all near each other on Beacon street near Sacramento)
          Chinatown: East Ocean City, Peach Farm, King Fung, Taiwan cafe, Winsor Dim Sum

          1. Allston: YoMa (Burmese)N. Beacon Street, S&I (Thai) Brighton Ave
            Cambridge: Courthouse Fish (Fried Seafood) Cambridge St.
            Chinatown: Hei La Moon (dim sum) Beech St., HongKong Eatery (noodles/rice plates)
            South End: South End Formaggio (A hunk of cheese & loaf of bread, there's a park nearby) Shawmut Ave, Red Sea (Ethiopian) Tremont St.

            1 Reply
            1. re: qianning

              I'd say anything in Allston (also throw in Camino Real, Deep Ellum, Cafe Brazil).
              Miracle of Science by Central Sq. Cambridge, Bartley's Burgers in Harvard Sq. Green ST. in Central Sq. is fun.
              Petit Robert Bistro in the South End or Kenmore Sq. Audobon outside Kenmore.
              Deluxe in the south end. Marliave downtown.

              No idea about breakfast in the airport or area.

            2. all great suggestions, i would also add Cafe Mami (non-sushi casual Japanese) in Porter Exchange (Red line, Porter stop), Sam LaGrassa's (downtown, Red line, Park stop) for pastrami/corned beef sandwiches, Eastern Standard (Green line, Kenmore stop ) for cocktails/brasserie fare, Malay Satay Hut (Chinatown) for roti canai and satay, Scampo (if you order carefully) (Red line Charles/MGH stop), Kebab Factory (Cambridge) for dosa

              2 Replies
              1. You should try getting brunch at China Pearl in Chinatown. Huge selection. It's a great dim sum place.